About 8 months ago or so, I man comes to my counter and says that he needs business cards. I showed him our selection, he told me exactly what he wanted. It was a simple card really, he already had the logo and info. We talked for some time while I was making his cards.
Found out that him R and his partner W of 29 years had just opened up a gay bar, not to far from my work. I would go just about every night. The owners and I became friends. If I didnt show up for awhile I would get a phone call from R wondering where I was and what I was doing. The calls were nice.
They invited me over to their house, I went and they showed me around. I was amazed, the house is a 1922 built home. With 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths.
This is called the Asian Room, it has a private Full size Bath.
This one is called the Carmen Room, dedicated to a friend of theirs that passed away.
This is the Jungle Room
Both Carmen and the Jungle room shares a bathroom. The tour was not over, they said follow. We went back down the stairs and out the back door to one of the patios. We went to a gate that says "Relax" this way.
My jaw dropped.
The very first thing I see is this, a 7 person hot tub.
Then I see the pool and gazebo
Then I turned around and see the bar and all the lounge chairs.
They told me if I ever wanted to use their pool just let them know. I thanked them for that sweet offer.
Several months has passed, I only went over once in a great while and laid out.
Back in late June, I get a disturbing text. My friend R is in the hospital with a bad heart attack. Even though I could not go see him, (I was at work) I texted them every day to see how he was doing. He had to have 5 new valves put in and they used the new mechanical ones.
June 22nd is the day that changed my life for the better. That was the day that W walked into work and needed a fax done. We talked about how R was doing. He said he is doing really well. His color is coming back into his face. It made me smile that he was recovering well. I told W that I was off at 6pm and would like to come over and help out with anything. He said you don't need to do that. But after work that day, I went to their house and rang the doorbell. W opened it up and I said here I am use me.
We went to the bar area and he said we need to finish the bar. The walls were up and finished. He said we need to put all the cabinets in. We worked on the bar until dark and then he said come on we need to go to the hospital and visit R.
R was sitting up and very happy to see us. We talked for hours and laughed. He looked really good for what all he had been through. We left and when back to the house and W asked me to spend the night. I had the next day off and he really needed the help. I agreed. He said pick a room. I slept in the jungle room.
The next morning W said, I am trying to get the place ready for Pride. It was Saturday and they invited over 100 to attend.
W and I worked from the time we woke up until we went to see R. I ended up spending the night there every night that week.
We finished the bar, and cleaned the rooms, mowed the yard, put up the flags, etc. The place looked great.
W's phone rang on June 27th, it was R. He said come and get me. The hospital released him. Just in time for Pride. We were so excited. W went to get R and I stayed behind to finish cleaning the house.
R was so glad to be home, he was smiling from ear to ear. He said he was ready to get out of there. I can so relate to that.
R and W asked if I was spending the night again, I said yes please. It was Pride and I was super excited. I took Pride weekend off from work. I am so glad I did, I had the best time ever.
This was the first ever Night Pride Parade in St. Petersburg. The mayor of the city was in it (also a first) and he flew the gay flag at city hall. (a first).
When people started showing up I was greeting them. Some of them I already knew from the bar and others I did not know. About 6pm (A) comes up to me and said hey you want to be in the Parade with me. I did not even blink an eye and said yes. He said meet over at the park at 6:30 pm. I showed up at 6:30pm and there he was in his ATV.
Me and (A)
(A) is a stunt man and stunt driver for movies and commercials. He had huge speakers on his ATV as seen in the picture. We was jamming through the Parade Route. I stood up on his seat and danced and he stood up and drove and danced. So much fun.